When The Stars Disappear

When The Stars Disappear

Probing human suffering and applying truth to life’s most crucial questions.

Episodes

March 24, 2022 3 mins

Welcome to the podcast "When The Stars Disappear" hosted by Dr. Mark Talbot, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Wheaton College in Illinois.

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Mark tells the story of his paralyzing accident, his sense of God's love that immediately followed it, and its subsequent blessings in his life.

Mark as Played

While we should expect to suffer in this life, we can find hope in the fact that God will always bring good out of our suffering.

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May 5, 2022 23 mins

The psalmists provide us with breathing lessons for exhaling our pain and grief to God and then inhaling his promises as well as remembering what he has done for us in the past.

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The stories of Naomi and Job show us that while suffering can make us think that life will never again be good, God may restore us. And even if, as with Jeremiah, God doesn’t restore us in this life, he can help us to persevere. No matter what we understand, God is always working in and through every circumstance.

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After Mark offers some advice on the sort of help we need to understand Scripture, John and Mark address the question: Given the suffering in our world, how should we live in order to shine a light on the truth of the Christian story?

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June 16, 2022 21 mins

Mark and John wrap up their discussion of When the Stars Disappear, Mark's first volume in his Suffering and the Christian Life series, by reflecting on what the Christian story offers us and then recounting its four parts. Mark summarizes the purpose of his first volume as clarifying that, no matter how deep anyone's suffering is, Scripture records instances of suffering that are at least as deep, which is a sign for Christians th...

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In this episode, John and Mark recap the main lesson from When the Stars Disappear—that it is only those who endure to the end through all persecution and affliction who will be saved (see Matthew 10:22; 2 Corithians 1:6).

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July 21, 2022 30 mins

Paul Winters and Mark open their discussion of Mark's second volume, Give Me Understanding that I May Live, by exploring why we must understand the first chapter of Genesis if we are to live the lives for which God made us and to which he calls us.

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Paul and Mark discuss how the expansion of Genesis 1's account of the creation of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:4-25 enables us to understand more deeply who God has created us to be.

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August 18, 2022 30 mins

Paul and Mark explore the remarkable implications of the Genesis 2 account of Adam and Eve.

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September 1, 2022 32 mins

Paul and Mark begin to explore the prohibition that God gave to Adam in Genesis 2:17—namely, “you must not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die.” Why did God issue a command prohibiting our first parents from eating from one specific tree in the garden of Eden? And why would their disobedience result in their deaths?

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September 15, 2022 30 mins

Paul and Mark discuss how prohibitions add an important element to human life: they help us recognize what we must never do and they enable us to express our unqualified resolution to live lives of complete and exclusive commitment to another person.

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October 6, 2022 30 mins

In this episode, Paul and Mark show why the penalty of death was the inevitable consequence of Adam and Eve's eating from the forbidden tree.

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October 20, 2022 29 mins

Paul and Mark examine how the serpent led Eve to doubt God's warning that if she and Adam ate from the forbidden tree, then they would die, as well as how they knew enough about God and his love for them that they should not have believed the serpent's lies.

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November 3, 2022 29 mins

This episode asks whether Adam or Eve was more responsible for the fall and then turns to show how suffering became inevitable once Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree yet is also a key element in how God calls us back to himself.

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November 17, 2022 30 mins

Mark and Karl—"KJ"—Johnson review the centrality of stories in our lives and begin to discuss how Adam and Eve's disobedience to God's command not to eat from the forbidden tree, as the first great turning point in human history, opened the door to human suffering.

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Mark and KJ discuss how human suffering is the spoiled fruit of Adam and Eve's fall into sin and how that means that God is not to be blamed for our suffering, as well as the vast differences between "top-down" and "bottom-up" explanations of human life.

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December 15, 2022 7 mins

Mark highlights the full Christian story by reading John Julian's hymn, "Hark! The voice Eternal," and then reflecting on human history's central turning point: Jesus' resurrection.

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Mark offers a way to characterize all kinds and degrees of human suffering and then explores with KJ how this can help us to live better, more deliberate, and more courageous Christian lives.

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